McLaren enjoys being "heavily challenged" by vocal Norris on F1 team radio

McLaren's Andrea Stella has welcomed Lando Norris' vocal criticism on the team radio and stated the Formula 1 team prefers being "heavily challenged" over having passive drivers.

Lando Norris, McLaren

Norris caused a stir in last weekend's Dutch Grand Prix when he angrily slammed the team for leaving him out too long on slicks in the rain, shouting "are you stupid" to his race engineer.

When asked about his comments in Monza, Norris admitted he was taken aback at how aggressive he can come across on the radio, while he didn't intend any offence.

"When you look at it after you always think 'I make myself look like an idiot' and I get that," Norris said. "But the people I speak to know that I would never mean something like that, of course.

"I always sound like I'm crying or moaning on the radio, I don't know why. I hate it!"

Team principal Stella said he has no issue with Norris' vocal radio calls and the team prefers being "heavily challenged" by its drivers rather than them being passive.

"He was obviously frustrated because he realised that we were missing an opportunity by staying out one lap too much. And this is because the people misread the situation, so Lando was addressing it," Stella said in Monza.

"This is what champions do. We like this character. We want to be heavily challenged by the driver. And we can be heavily challenged because our culture is strong, we can bear with that.

"We'd rather have this kind of challenge than a passive driver that just takes everything and doesn't contribute to the development of the team. So, for us this episode is not a problem at all."

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Nevertheless, Stella appreciated Norris settling the issue with his engineers after the race. But while he may seek to control how he comes across on the team radio in the future, the team itself understands how to handle the Briton's comments, which caused a much bigger stir outside the team on social media than within.

"I talked about culture before and this means that you have awareness of what racing is, you have awareness of how you should take drivers' comments, and just make use of it as long as they are constructive and just dismiss all the rest," Stella added.

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"We are very aware of that. And Lando itself, he is aware that he came across tough to the team. But then he dealt with it immediately after the race with the quality of the person and the driver that we all know. For us the matter is closed.

"In terms of how Lando perceives himself, I'm sure he will make some adaptations to his tone and pitch and so potentially we will hear Lando speaking in a slightly different ways so that he comes across in a way that is closer to what he expects of himself.

"But for us, we are happy, and we just have to make sure we support him as well as he deserves."

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